Building a pair of wrought iron gates



Now that the hinges are made and fitted we can begin building the gates. The frame begins with the stile bars which carries the hinges and forms the outboard vertical edge of the gate.
Starting with one inch square bars i hammered about 5 inches of metal down to 1/2' thick and tapered it down thin. I used a fuller to widen the bar at the end and left the hammer marks. The flattened end was then rolled up inti a scroll about three inches in diameter.
Here are the four stile heads lined up in the shop, the hammer marks are clearly visible and were left intentionally. The picture on the right shows the stile with it's hinge assembly fitted together. The barrels were not welded directly to the stiles because the original gudeons were all at different heights as well as not being plumb. By making the barrels seperate with mounting wings, I am able to not only set the stile plumb , but also let the bearings seat evenly. Now the distance between the opposing stiles can be measured and the length of the heel bars will be cut.
This sketch shows the gate frame and identifies the peices. All of the frame members are made from one inch square steel except the center vertical bars which are 1/2' by one.
The picture on the left shows most of the frame components. One stile-apron assembly is missing because it was a day off and I had clean clothes on at the time. It might be tempting to assemble the whole frame at this point and say ' there, thats how big they are going to be', but the apron area is the container for a scroll panel which needs to be fitted and made to be removable. All of that means that I am going to be flipping each of the four frames over to work on each side, then lifting the next frame onto the welding trestle and... These peices are going to gain weight quickly so I am going to add that weight carefully.

Now I will build the scrolls to fit into these tall panels and set them aside.